The author has established an impressive portfolio of aviation histories and established a loyal following of readers. This new book is a worthy addition to the portfolio and covers the men who flew one of the most important combat aircraft of the Cold War – most highly recommended.
NAME: The Men Who Flew The F-4 Phantom FILE: R2638 AUTHOR: Martin W Bowman PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword BINDING: hard back PAGES: 272 PRICE: £25.00 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: Cold War, super-sonic jets, air superiority, ground attack, dog fighting, guns, missiles, low level high speed flight, interceptor, missile carrier ISBN: 1-52670-584-2 IMAGE: B2638.jpg BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/ybl2ld8r LINKS: DESCRIPTION: The author has established an impressive portfolio of aviation histories and established a loyal following of readers. This new book is a worthy addition to the portfolio and covers the men who flew one of the most important combat aircraft of the Cold War – most highly recommended. The F-4 Phantom became one of, if not the, most important combat aircraft of the Cold War. However it was not without its weaknesses. Primarily it was a radar system and missile carrier with a gun being added later as something of an afterthought. It was designed at a time when conventional thinking had decided that manned fighters were coming to the end of the road and were only justified as a platform for heavier and longer ranged guided missiles. That meant that aircraft in this category would need a two man crew, one to pilot and a weapons officer who would do much of the work. There was also a demand for ever greater range as the point defence interceptor was already being replaced by missile batteries. That, together with a desire for heavier missiles, meant the fighter was inevitably a much larger and heavier aircraft, totally unsuitable for dog fighting. The Americans found out the hard way that Vietnam required dog fighting capability which also meant a major rethink of how fighter pilots should be trained. It resulted in 'aggressor' squadrons and the famous USN 'Top Gun' school. There was not much that could be done with smoky engines and the size of the F-4 Phantom, but training could equip pilots to dog fight with the small MiG-21 and similar opposing aircraft. The F-4 in its various versions served the USAF and USN very well and it also served with friendly powers including Israel and Great Britain. The author has included two very well-selected photo plate sections to illustrate his descriptive text. The F-4 Phantom has inspired many good books, but this new book is in a class of its own. It deals with the part aircrew played in the story and provides a detailed but very readable account of the Phantom story. It will appeal to a very wide readership because it addresses the professionals, enthusiasts and modellers, but also provides an outstanding book for general readers and those starting to develop an interest in aviation history.